Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Matachine Dancers

We were lucky to see a performance of matachine dancers from the nearby pueblo of Tortugas. Because this was on the eve of the day honoring La Virgen de Guadalupe, the dance was considered to be a rehearsal and we were thus allowed to take photos. 

I did my best with the limited light. I know this is a poor photo, but I hope it gives a little of the feel of the ceremony. The dancers are dressed in elaborate Aztec-inspired costumes adorned with noise-making beads; they dance to the hypnotic rhythm of a drum. At the point in the ceremony where this photo was taken, the little boys hold a picture of La Virgen, and will shortly turn it in a circle to face each of the dancers in turn, who will kneel and cross themselves. 

The dance took place in a small plaza under the stars on a cold evening; the shadows of the dancers were thrown up on the surrounding adobe walls. I could almost imagine myself back to the times of the first matachine ceremonies hundreds of years ago. 

For more information on the background of the Matachine Society, see this article on its history and the symbolism involved in the dance.


Birdman said...

Nice 'warm' image of the festivities.

Sandy ~~~ said...

Very cool....yes, I can imagine it too!

Randy said...

That would be something to see. Nice photo too. Thanks for stopping by. I didn't get the name of that artist on my blog. Wish I had I just love that painting. Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

From your description and your photo, looks like it was definitely a sight to see. How cool.